Youth Summer Jobs

In a disappointing move Tuesday, the Senate voted down the Youth Summer Jobs Amendment, proposed by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to provide $1.5 billion through the Workforce Investment Act for summer jobs programs and year-round employment, continuing education and support for young people.

The Senator’s amendment would have put an estimated 500,000 young people to work. Last year, Senator Murray successfully fought for funds in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to provide summer job programs for youth.  Thanks to her efforts, the ARRA ultimately helped more than 300,000 young people get jobs.

“I have personally heard stories from young men and women who participated in the program and who told me how it changed their lives and gave them the skills and experience they know they need to succeed in school and in the workforce,” she said when she introduced the amendment last week. “That is why while we are focusing on legislation that will support unemployed Americans and help workers get back on the job, I think we should also continue investing in a successful program that helps our young people get to work.”

Despite the Senate's action, we remain hopeful about summer jobs legislation. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced that he is working to pass new youth jobs legislation introduced by Senator Murray – the Youth Jobs Act of 2010. “More than any time in recent memory, summer jobs for teenagers and young adults are going to be tough to come by this summer,” he said.  “Thats why we need to start taking critical steps to immediately address the problem - investing in summer jobs programs will not only ensure that kids and young adults have the proper training to join the work force, but will relieve stress on middle class families and is a proven way to jumpstart a local economy.”

The Campaign for Youth encourages you to contact your Senator to tell them that jobs legislation must include aid for low-income and disconnected youth. Click here to find your legislator’s contact information.